As ferocious as this awesome clouded leopard appears, expressions frozen in time can be real deceptive. As it happens, though Lai Tai is definitely one of the more grumpy cats at Khao Kheow Open Zoo (Chonburi Province, Thailand), in this frame you see the downside of his yawn.
Though their numbers in the wild have been greatly reduced, clouded leopard populations range from the Himalayan foothills though mainland Southeast Asia and into China. Aside from its beautiful coat, this medium-sized cat has other distinguishing features, such as: short, stout legs; board paws; and a tail that can measure two-thirds the length of its body, all of which combined enables this amazingly agile feline to swiftly chase its prey on the ground through vegetation on the forest floor, as well as to climb both up and down trees, leap impressive distances, and run along branches with the greatest of ease.
And then there are those magnificent teeth! Although the clouded leopard is approximately ten times smaller than a tiger, their fangs are about equal length, which makes the canine teeth of clouded leopards the longest of all living felines. For many years this anatomical anomaly was seen as an evolutionary link between clouded leopards and the long since extinct sabre-tooth cats, however, more in-depth analysis has provided evidence showing that sabre-tooth cats are not in fact even distantly related to any wild cat in existence today, even though that evidently share similar physical and behavioural traits.